Bernard Lewis

Faith and Power Religion and Politics in the Middle East Publication date : August 25, 2011

A historian and professor emeritus at Princeton University, the late Bernard Lewis was regarded as one of the leading interpreters of Middle Eastern culture and history. His best-known works include The Arabs in History, The Muslim Discovery of Europe and What Went Wrong?

At a time when most of our received ideas regarding relations between the Middle East and the West are being upset by History, the author the New York Times hailed as “the doyen of Middle Eastern studies” gives his view of the role religion has played in the region.
What is the weight of Islam in politics today? What was it in the past? Is democracy feasible in Islamic nations? Why do extremist speeches and declarations have such an impact? Why is the question of women’s position in society such a sensitive issue? Why has the confrontation with Europe and the West lasted so long?
After tackling the many controversial questions that events in the Middle East regularly incite us to revisit, one of the foremost Islamic scholars offers the conclusions of his studies and insights on the role of religion in this pivotal part of the world.

• A crucial element in the debate: Is the Middle East doomed to extremism — or can it achieve its own form of democracy?
• A book that will enable readers to step back, take a long view and understand the present revolutionary state of the Arab world.